from Chris Bishop, National Party Spokesperson for Housing and Infrastructure

Yesterday morning on Q+A, I announced National’s “Going for Housing Growth” plan outlining how National will fix New Zealand’s housing crisis by unlocking land for housing inside and around our cities, building infrastructure, and making sure communities share in the benefits of growth. 

Labour has failed on housing. Rents are up $160 per week since 2017, the social housing waitlist has increased by over 20,000 applicants, 3,500 families live in motels, and over 400 families live in cars.

 National’s Going for Housing Growth plan will: 

  1. Unlock land for housing – Councils in major towns and cities will be required to zone land for 30 years’ worth of housing demand immediately. Councils will have more flexibility about where houses are built by being able to opt-out of the Medium Density Residential Zone law, however central government will have reserve powers to ensure councils set aside enough land to meet demand targets.
  2. Provide Infrastructure financing tools – The Infrastructure Funding and Financing (IFF) Act will be reformed to reduce red tape for developers to fund infrastructure. Combined with targeted rates to fund greenfield developments, this will remove the need for councils to fund greenfield infrastructure from their balance sheets. Housing growth will also become a priority for transport funding through NZTA.
  3. Ensure Housing performance incentives for councils – A $1 billion fund for Build-for-Growth incentive payments for councils that deliver more new housing – funded by stopping existing programmes like KiwiBuild.

National’s plan means that for every house delivered above the five-year average in a council area, the council will receive $25,000. National has always been open to sensible change that will still deliver a massive increase in housing, and our policy does just that. 

Our plan will require councils to quickly make land available to meet 30 years of housing demand, creating abundant development opportunities. Councils will either do this through greenfield development or greater density, particularly along transport corridors – but they’ll have to do it, or central government will do it for them.

National’s vision is for thriving and productive cities and regions where everyone has a warm and dry place to call home. It means vibrant and growing cities, with good quality public transport and efficient and reliable infrastructure.

Our plan means that a National-led Government will let councils opt out of the one-size-fits-all approach to intensification – the Medium Density Residential Changes. But councils must show they can meet future demand by either zoning land though greenfield development or though greater density.

National’s Going for Housing Growth Plan is part of National’s plan to fix the housing crisis. National has already announced plans to improve the rental market such as bringing back interest deductibility for rental properties and unlocking the potential of Build to Rent housing.

A National government will fix the economy to reduce the cost of living, lift incomes and afford the public services New Zealanders deserve.